DHS Warns of “Heightened Threat” From Extremists Emboldened by Capitol Riot

The Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism bulletin warning of a “heightened” threat of violence from extremists following the Capitol riot and President Joe Biden’s inauguration, The New York Times reports.

DHS issued a bulletin through its National Terrorism Advisory System warning of a “heightened threat environment across the United States” that the department expects will “persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration.”

“Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” the bulletin said.

DHS warns of variety of motives:

The bulletin warned that domestic violence extremists may be motivated to commit acts of terror due to “racial and ethnic tension,” inspiration from foreign terrorist groups, and other issues.

“DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities,” the bulletin said. “Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions.”

DHS not naming groups:

DHS has repeatedly come under fire for failing to recognize the threat posed by white supremacist groups. Even after the department singled out these groups as the leading domestic terror threat, “analysts and intelligence officials said their warnings were watered down, delayed or both,” according to the Times.

The new bulletin does not name any groups, which former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said was a mistake.

“In my view, it is domestic terrorism mounted by right-wing extremists and neo-Nazi groups,” he said. “We have to be candid and face what the real risk is.”

 

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